Saturday, December 12, 2015

August Scarf of the Month: Scrappy Granny


  Hey, how about a free pattern? The Scarf of the Month series has been on hold because of July's disaster... But I'm done waiting. Let's skip July and get to August, because there's even more patterns backing up!




  The Scrappy Granny Scarf was designed to use up those half-skeins taking up room in yarn stashes everywhere. Unlike a classic Granny Square that can use up smaller scraps of yarn, this rectangular Granny needs longer bits to finish a round. So, dig out those color-coordinated I-made-a-hat-now-what?-skeins, and let's get our Granny on!




crochet, granny rectangle, free crochet pattern




  You could make this scarf more colorful and use up shorter 1/4 skeins by switching colors every round. I worked with what I had on hand to create this scarf. If you plan on doing the same, then check out this progress post showing you how to judge whether you'll have enough yarn to make it around the pattern. Finished size of my six-round scarf if 60" (150 cm) long by 7.5" (18.75 cm) wide. You could work less rows for a skinnier scarf, or continue working rounds for a wrap! Directions are included at the end of the pattern if you would like to continue working around.



free crochet pattern, granny rectangle, scarf




Skill level:






Materials:
Worsted (4) weight yarn
-I used Red Heart Super Saver in:
Color A - French Country
Color B - White
Color C - Blue*
*I lost the label for this scrap. I could have sworn this color was "Royal", but after double-checking on Red Heart's webpage, it appears to be called "Blue". If they do sell a "Royal" and I just missed it, then this is Royal.
Crochet hook size J/10 - 6.00 MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Yarn needle
Stitch markers (optional - to mark beginning chain)




Gauge:
In 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm)
Four sets of 3-double crochet
4 rows -or- 2 rounds


free crochet pattern, granny rectangle, scrapbuster




Notes:
Chain 4 at beginning of rounds counts as one double crochet + chain 1. Use stitch markers if needed.

There are no chains between double crochet sets! I know so many of you will say "I got this, it's a granny square" - but beware of no chains! Only chain-1 for corners.

Pattern is written in multiples of 3 + 1.




Stitches and abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Double crochet (dc)

Back loop (b/L)
Begin/beginning (beg)
Front loop (f/L)
Skip (sk)
Space (sp)
Stitch (st)




free crochet pattern, granny rectangle, scrapbuster




Directions:


Chain 140 to begin. (136 = 45 multiples + 1, + 3 for beg dc, + 1 for ch-1 corner space.)


Round 1:
Make 3 dc in b/L of fourth ch from hook. (Sk 2 chs, make 3 dc) 44 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in same st. Ch 1. Working around, make 3 dc in f/L of same st. (Sk 2, make 3 dc in f/L) 44 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in same st. Make 2 dc in same st as beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 2:
Sl st in ch-1 corner sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in same sp. *(Sk 3, make 3 dc in sp after set) 45 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in same sp.* Make (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-1 corner sp. Repeat from * to * one time. Make 2 dc in the same space as beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 3:
Sl st in ch-1 corner sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in same sp. *(Sk 3, make 3 dc in space after set) 46 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in the same sp. Sk 3 dc, make 3 dc in sp after set.* (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next corner ch-1 space. Repeat from * to * one time. Make 2 dc in the same sp as the beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 4:
Sl st in ch-1 corner sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in same sp. *(Sk 3, make 3 dc in spce after set) 47 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in the same sp. (Sk 3, make 3 dc in sp after set) 2 times.* (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-1 corner sp. Repeat from * to * one time. Make 2 dc in same sp as beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 5:
Sl st in corner ch-1 sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in same sp. *(Sk 3, make 3 dc in space after set) 48 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in the same sp. (Sk 3, make 3 dc in sp after set) 3 times.* (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-1 corner sp. Repeat from * to * one time. Make 2 dc in same sp as beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 6*:
Sl st in corner ch-1 sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in the same sp. (Sk 3, make 3 dc in space after set) 49 (...) times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in same sp as last. (Sk 3, make 3 dc in sp after set) 4 (...) times.* (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next corner ch-1 sp. Repeat from * to * one time. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


* If you wish to continue the pattern for a wrap, just follow the last round! Replace the number before the (...) with the next highest number each round.


Bind off, weave in ends.


free crochet pattern, scarf, shawl, stashbuster





Happy Crocheting!





Wednesday, December 9, 2015

An Update on Weird Stick Thing (Thanks, Ravelry!)






  Didn't I say that I'd end up feeling like an idiot over Weird Stick Thing? Well... I guess I don't feel like a complete idiot... I mean, I didn't know what the thing was, so I set out to investigate. And when I couldn't come up with an answer, I asked for help from all of you. That just means I'm uninformed; not an idiot. But... I still feel like an idiot.




knitting, crochet, needlework, tools





  Weird Stick Thing was found in a bunch of needlework tools, so I assumed that it was a needlework tool of some kind. Wouldn't you? And after some help from the wonderful members of Ravelry, it's possible that Weird Stick Thing wasn't originally intended as a needlework tool... Or, maybe it was? I love the responses to my post! Let's cover some of the suggestions so far:


1. Swizzle stick

2. Fruit skewer

3. A cheap shawl pin

4. Crappy knitting needle (lol!)

5. A spool-knitting tool



  Whether Weird Stick thing was added to the collection by my mom, the original owner, or just by accident... Well, we may never know. But I do know that my mom used to do quite a bit of sewing back before my time, and still created a few projects in my younger years. I have vague memories of a quilt in progress, mentions of some mysterious material called bias tape that looks like fabric to me*, and what looked like surgery being done on a blanket with an orange stick.


*I'm not that clueless, I really know what bias tape is. I just refuse to acknowledge it.


  I assume the "surgery" would be "turning corners"; something that didn't register in my young brain because the quilt wasn't being turned... Just like how I couldn't figure out why bias tape wasn't sticky at all... And while we're at it, I was confused about orange sticks not being orange, too. Hey, we could keep going with the perplexity of why Turtle Wax is to wax your car and not to wax your pet turtle, but we're talking about Weird Stick Thing, not the misconceptions of a three-year-old.




  So, getting to the point: According to suggestions 1 & 2, it looks like Weird Stick Thing might be nothing more than a swizzle stick. Yup, this mystery needlework tool was possibly part of a cocktail. The ball-end looks right, but what about that pointy end? Maybe it's a skewer/swizzle stick combo, or maybe it's a swizzle stick with a broken top. Either way, I could see it being used as a tool to turn corners while sewing. BUT! See a note during the explanation of suggestion 5.




  As for suggestion 3, I could also see it being the pin-part of a shawl pin... But indeed, it would be a cheap one. And that rolls into suggestion 4: The crappy knitting needle. That's what I thought it was at first! Who knows, maybe it is...




  Now, on to suggestion 5, and possibly why I didn't recognize this tool: The tool for a spool knitter, or a Knitting Nancy. This is a tool and craft I had to go research. French knitting? Are you serious? Now there's another yarn-y craft I'm going to have to learn? Yay! Anyways... Although this tool doesn't exactly match any of the ones I found online, it does bear a striking resemblance. And I even found one that came with a yellow plastic stick, but the ball at the end is different. This could be a cheaper version, or it could still be a swizzle stick.




  However, I think suggestion 5 could be the likely answer, due to some extra clues provided. One informative Ravelry member happens to be married to a 30-year bar and restaurant manager. See? It helps to have inside connections. Apparently the size of this "swizzle stick" is all wrong for it to be a fruit skewer, swizzle stick, or a fruit-skewering swizzle stick.




  So in conclusion, there still is no real conclusion! The Ravelry discussion is still ongoing, so feel free to stop by and check the whole thing out. Is it a swizzle stick? A knitting spool tool? What do you think? And to add to the barrage of questions: Forget the grown-up style looms... Have you ever used a toy-style Knitting Nancy Doll? Why, oh why did they make a toy that poops out your needlework? What IS that?  



This whole thing makes me want to throw a Starbucks drink stopper in with my tools, just to confuse the kids when I'm gone :) 




knitting, crochet, needlework





Happy... Knitting? Drinking? What is it?





Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hooks with a History - What the Hook is that?






  I was saving this for last, but I just can't keep it to myself anymore. Can you help me? I have something strange in my new "vintage" crochet hook collection... And I wish I could begin to tell you what it is. Is this a tool of some craft I don't know? A strangely-made knitting needle? A Medieval torture device? Well... No, of course not; it's plastic... But c'mon! What is it?




knitting, crochet, needlework, mystery tool





  Since I don't have much information for you, I'll just cover examples of how clueless I am: Each set of my photos gets their own folder, so I can keep track of all my pictures. This thing is in the folder "weird stick thing". I considered naming it "plastic knitting needle", but it can't possibly be a knitting needle. No way. Who would make a knitting needle with raised spots and a sharp seam that would catch the yarn? Please tell me that I'm right, and this isn't really a knitting needle.




knitting, crochet, needlework, mystery tool





  I Google searched "vintage plastic knitting needle", "plastic yarn tool", "vintage/plastic needlework tools", and "plastic craft stick", all with no success. One more obnoxious search of "Weird Stick Thing" taught me that apparently, quite a few people stick weird things where they shouldn't go. I wound up on that part of the internet that could scar you for life... How in the world do you get the curved end of a cane stuck... Forget it. Why would you put a cell phone... Really? Are you expecting an intergalactic call from Uranus? And salad tongs? SERIOUSLY?! Know what? Never mind. Some people just ain't right. And that was just the top of the first Google Images page. I'm not looking anymore. If I'm going to retain any faith in humanity, I just can't look anymore.




  So, I further contemplated the purpose of Weird Stick Thing while I detoxed with videos of cute kitties. Could it be some sort of yarn needle? Probably not, because again: Bumps that catch the yarn! These raised spots appear to be leftover from the mold during manufacturing. Plus, what kind of needle doesn't have an eye? This has a knob at the end, like a knitting needle.




knitting, crochet, needlework, mystery tool





  Weird Stick Thing has a really sharp point, which may not be how it was created. The point is slightly bent and there's a burr on it, leading me to think this could be a broken... Something. But what? It really bears the appearance of a knitting needle... But, the bumps! What is this thing?




knitting, crochet, needlework, mystery tool





  I wanted so badly to discover its purpose; to be able to present you all with a "look at what I found" post. I have exhausted myself more than I care to. I give up on this one. Anybody have the answer? Is it a poorly-made knitting needle? A broken "something"? A nose picker? WHAT IS IT? If the answer is obvious and I'm just clueless, then feel free to get a laugh. Just please tell me what the hook this thing is already!



*An afterthought... I'm already receiving so much help on social media, but we still haven't figured it out. I forgot to include some helpful information: It's 5" (12.5 cm) long, and measures in a knitting gauge as a size 4, or 3.5 MM. But... The bumps only let it go halfway into the knitting gauge. You have to go the next size up for the "tool" to go all the way through.




Happy... Well now... I always say "Happy Crocheting". But I don't know what this thing is for, so...

Happy... Something!